Hypnosis as a treatment for skin disorders
How does hypnosis help the skin?
The skin develops during embryonic development in utero. Both the central nervous system (CNS) and the epidermis originate from the ectoderm (the outermost layer of cells) and thus the CNS and the skin are strongly connected. Extreme stress can create vulnerability in the CNS, whereby it affects the epidermis. The greater the escalation of the stress, the worse the skin condition may become. Hypnosis can be a remedy to this cycle, by alleviating the stress and distracting the patient from exacerbating the skin condition by scratching.
Hypnosis induction techniques are done for a specific reason; for example, for relaxation, to reduce pain or pruritus, or to modify a habit to assist healing. Hypnosis can aid in three distinct ways: addressing the core of the issue, examining the remission of symptoms, and changing the conditioned response. By visualising vivid and meaningful mental images (such as accomplishing goals or pleasant memories), hypnosis has proven useful in the psychological treatment of several dermatological disorders, particularly those associated with severe itching, pain, or psychological stress.
However, hypnosis continues to be controversial and has limited scientific evidence to support it.
What are the benefits of hypnosis for skin disorders?
Hypnosis is reported to:
- Reduce stress
- Reduce scratching
- Reduce pain and itch
- Lessen needle phobias and other phobias.